Sorry, son. I know I was hard on you (and me?) last time.
Still, it’s all downhill from here, don’t worry.
6. You’re twisting my words.
OK, so you know words are subject to interpretation. That’s a start.
So why is your interpretation of your own words so important? Every time you open your mouth or set pen to paper, everyone has to focus on what you “originally meant?”
But even if you did originally mean it (and you’re not backtracking and rationalizing), then why should you get to define the only legitimate interpretation of what you said or wrote?
(But then a REALLY, REALLY NICE GUY like you wouldn’t rationalize, would you?)
But yes: language goes way beyond the subjective intention either of “the heat of the moment” or indeed, of cool, calm, “rational” reflection.
7. But we’re all human beings right?
Are we all Homo Sapiens?
Do we all share a Common Human Nature? Maybe, maybe not.
Are we all part of “Humanity?”
(And note the capital “H.”)
Well, here are a few of the people who have never been part of “Humanity” in the ideological sense: non-white people, non-heterosexuals, non-males, anyone living in the those few short years between the dawn of Homo Sapiens and the 18th century…
And quite frankly, I would like to give a longer list, but I would end up myself excluding anyone I didn’t mention. That wouldn’t be great either.
I think you probably get it by now. Being a human being is very different from being counted as “truly Human” by those who have ascribed themselves the right to do so. The sum total of human beings is radically, radically different from the “Our Common Humanity” that neocons, liberal interventionists, or other disreputable figures keep talking about.
(Yes, I know that last sentence was ungrammatical, but then again, syntactical infelicities are the last refuge of the scoundrel. You should know!)
8. But you’re a man too! Hypocrite!
Hmmm. Gotta hit the nuclear option sooner or later, right?
OK; let’s say I’m a hypocrite. Let’s say I myself have said wrong things, acted crassly, been oblivious, hindered turn-taking in conversations…
And done any number of things that I would say are part of what men (YES, not all those Evil-Wicked-Nasty-Cockblocking-Bad-Guys) do as part of a sexist world.
(Which word should I have capitalised in that last sentence?)
And let’s say I still do these things, and that I need to get my own house in order before judging other men.
And let’s say that attempting to acknowledge this and reflect on my own attitudes and behaviours doesn’t make me a better person than anyone else.
And let’s say that good intentions aren’t everything, and I will still, at times, find myself slipping back into old behaviours.
And let’s say that talking about these topics doesn’t give me a get-out-of-jail-free card for the benefit of the doubt.
OK, so suppose all these things are true…
Well, you don’t have to “suppose.” They are true as hell.
But tell me:
How does any of that let you off the hook? Any more than it does me?
This is not about “good guys and bad guys.”
And if I have to answer to anyone, I’d rather it wasn’t you. I’d prefer to answer to the women I know, or even to women I don’t know.
Because when it comes down to it, the Men’s Club is not a hospitable place for clear thinking and self-reflection.
And it’s about time all the so-called “honourable gentlemen” woke up, and that we keep waking up.
Still, we might as well finish with a joke.
How many MRAs does it take to change a lightbulb?
“WAAAAHHHHHH! THAT’S LITERALLY SO MISANDRIST! I’M GONNA TELL MY FRICKIN’ MOMMIIIIEEEEEE!”
Oof! That really bites, doesn’t it?